Melissa Juried Kriebel
Trading the corporate world of retail for a small business as an esthetician, Adrianne Brooks found her true calling in the beauty industry, offering lash extensions, makeup application as well as her own line of products.
The Hot Springs native moved off to Fayetteville after high school to study human environmental sciences with a minor in marketing.
What she called her “true love” was cosmetics.
After working in corporate positions for a while, she moved back home and attended beauty school.
“I came back to Hot Springs and there were no opportunities in product development at the time,” Brooks said. “And I didn’t know what I was gonna do. On a whim, my mom was like, ‘Just go to beauty school.'”
After graduating from beauty school, Brooks went through more training in Dallas and Los Angeles.
“So by the time I was done through all that training, I kind of had a better understanding where I wanted to go with it,” she said. “And I still wanted to do makeup pretty much full time, but I couldn’t do it in Hot Springs at the time. So I opened Whiplash Beauty.”
While she may not use her degree in the corporate side of things anymore, Brooks has used what she learned in college many times, she said. In completing her degree in human environmental sciences, she was assigned a project to simulate opening a business. Now, she owns Whiplash Beauty+Co and is planning to launch her own line of products, which can already be purchased on her business’s website.
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The products include lash cleanser, primer and setting spray and lip sealer.
“When I left product development, I knew that I wanted to get back into it someday,” she said. “I just didn’t know how and so I don’t really know what happened, but one day, I was just ready and so we have launched a product line.
“When I first started, it bothered me that I was in a vain world, that I was providing a superficial service,” she said. “I love beauty, I love hair and makeup, I love the whole thing, but that’s not what makes us who we are.”
Although her services may be considered superficial, the confidence she provides her customers with is not.
“When they get up from the chair and they look at their face for the first time, or their hair or their whole look, they just feel beautiful and that’s our goal,” she said.
Whiplash Beauty+Co started as an esthetic business, offering skin care, lash extensions and waxing. Brooks, however, has been doing makeup on the side since she opened the business.
“What we didn’t see coming was the wedding industry,” she said.
Now, with Anthony’s Chapel and other wedding venues in town, Brooks gets lots of business working with brides. Her team grew as the business grew, and she now has two full-time employees and three part-time employees in the wedding aspect of the business alone.
Beauty has always been important to Brooks, who lacked confidence growing up, she said.
“I started makeup way too young,” she said. “I wore lashes every day starting at 16. At the time, it was a way to kinda hide behind who I was and what my insecurities were, and it’s taken a long time to get out from that. I mean, I wouldn’t leave my house without hair and makeup done or lashes on.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve mellowed out on some of that. I’m also more confident in who I am.”